Côte d’Ivoire: 2023 Africa CEO Forum eyes speeding up rise of new generation of leaders

Africa Ceo forum, Côte D’Ivoire, on June 5, 2023.
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Africa Ceo forum, Côte D’Ivoire, Juin 2023.

Ivory Coast

Côte d’Ivoire’s economic capital is hosting the 2023 edition of the Africa CEO Forum for the 4th consecutive year.

Accelerating the emergence of the next generation of African champions is at the heart of discussions of this private sector major event. The forum that kicked off on Monday (June 5) comes at a time when African economies are affected by a lack of funding.

The Ivorian Prime Minister insisted on the state’s role and challing for daring solutions.

“We need states that are capable of rethink ingcertain economic models that have been set in stone in a way,” he pleaded. 

“We need models of pro-active states, which are strategist, which can set a vision, ensure public services are efficient, boost competitivity and regulate an economy whose backbone is the private sector. A sector that is an engine for wealth and job creation.”

Over 70 countries are represented and 2,000 people are taking part in the event. The conference hosts panels and B2B meetings.

‘Curcial to invest now more than ever’

During talks, actors from sectors such as agriculture or logistics discussed the future of African countries.

“We have been grappling with different crises, Covid-19, now it’s the war in Ukraine,” Agriculture minister Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani started. “This context leads us to say that states have to invest in agricultural production now more than ever, they can also integrate all levels in the value chain. If we manage to do that, we can feed Africa and even beyond.”

The private sector is crucial as it is the dominant employer. Mohamed Abdoulaye Diop from AGL transport and Logistics welcomed the forum.

“At such exceptional events, we can meet with actors and top-level operators. We have been reassured by the vision presented by the authorities, Inotably that of the Ivorian authorities,” he said. “This was also an opportunity to provide an overview because what is at stake here is the development of Africa and each and everyone should play a part.

As the first day of the forum drew to a close, Côte d’Ivoire had signed 3 draft treaties worth 450 million dollars. The objective is to boost the economy on the long term by accelerating the industrial transformation.

World deciders as well as heads of governments have convened in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire for the 2023 Africa CEO Forum. Thousands of company directors attending the event have two days to exchange views on the private sector’s key role in the continent’s development.

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